Prof. André Filiatrault – Abstract

Prof. André Filiatrault – Univeristy of Buffalo, NY, US and IUSS Pavia, Italy

André Filiatrault, Ph.D., P.Eng, is a Professor in the Department of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering at the State University of New York at Buffalo in Buffalo, NY, USA and a Professor of Structural Engineering at the School for Advanced Studies of Pavia (IUSS), Italy. He received his master’s (1985) and Ph.D. (1988) degrees in civil engineering from the University of British Columbia after obtaining his bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Université de Sherbrooke in 1983. After a two-year stint as an assistant professor at the University of British Columbia, he joined the Department of Civil Engineering at École Polytechnique, part of Université de Montréal, where he became a full professor in 1997. Professor Filiatrault joined the faculty at the University of California, San Diego in 1998, where he was a professor of structural engineering until 2003. From 2003 to 2007, he served as the Deputy Director of the Multidisciplinary Center for Earthquake Engineering Research (MCEER). Professor Filiatrault also served as the Director of MCEER from 2008 to 2011. He is the current founding president of the International Association for the Seismic Performance Of Non-Structural-Elements (SPONSE). His research over the last 29 years has focused on the seismic testing, analysis and design of civil engineering structures and non-structural building components. The professional achievements resulting from his research and teaching activities include four textbooks, more than 300 peer-reviewed scientific publications, the 1990 Sir Casimir Stanislaus Gzowski Medal from the Canadian Society for Civil Engineering, the 2002 Moisseiff Award from the American Society of Civil Engineers and the 2008 Outstanding Researcher/Scholar Award from the Research Foundation of the State University of New York.

ABSTRACT - Seismic Testing of Nonstructural Building Components: Needs and Recent Advances

The reduction in performance of buildings and facilities caused by the vulnerability of nonstructural components has been observed repetitively during earthquakes worldwide. Moreover, nonstructural damage has limited the functionality of critical facilities, such as hospitals, following major seismic events. The investment in nonstructural components and building contents is far greater than that of structural components and framing. Therefore, it is not surprising that in many past earthquakes, losses from damage to nonstructural components have exceeded losses from structural damage. Furthermore, the failure of nonstructural components can become a safety hazard or can hamper the safe movement of occupants evacuating buildings, or of rescue workers entering buildings. In comparison to structural components and systems, there is relatively limited information on the seismic performance of nonstructural components. Basic research work in this area has been sparse, and the available codes and guidelines are mainly based on experience, engineering judgment and intuition, rather than on objective experimental and analytical research results. Often, design engineers are forced to start almost from square one after each earthquake event: to observe what went wrong and to try to prevent repetitions. This is a consequence of the empirical nature of current seismic regulations and guidelines for nonstructural components. The requirements of seismic qualification of mechanical and electrical equipment and its mounting systems in important buildings to ensure that they remain functional during and after a seismic event has been implemented in some building codes recently. These requirements, mostly conducted by shake table testing; have had practical consequences on manufacturers and providers of standardized nonstructural components, since their products now need to be seismically qualified to a specified level of shaking. However, seismic testing of nonstructural components as part of publically available scientific research projects remain rare. This presentation will make a case for the need for expanding the seismic testing of nonstructural components and will discuss the recent developments in dedicated experimental facilities, testing protocols and experimental methods dedicated to nonstructural components. A case study on the development of seismic fragility curves for pressurized fire suppression sprinkler piping systems based on the combination of experimental and numerical studies will be presented in detail.

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